Truck Trailer Connection Accidents
When a trailer disconnects from the commercial truck that's towing it, the resulting collision can be catastrophic.
Trailers may disconnect from trucks for a variety of reasons, including:
- Rusted components
- Overweight cargo
- Excessive speed
- Defective hardware
- Brake malfunctions
- Reckless driving
A runaway trailer traveling at highway speeds can strike multiple vehicles, leading to numerous severe injuries, and even death.
Causes of Trailer Connection Failure
Passenger vehicle collisions typically involve three factors: the driver, the car, and the weather. Truck and trailer accidents, on the other hand, may also be affected by the type of cargo and whether the trailer was securely connected to the truck.
When a trailer connection fails or malfunctions, a number of individuals and entities may be legally liable, including:
- Truck operators. Most runaway trailer collisions are caused by trucker mistakes. Operators are responsible for checking all of their rig and trailer components to ensure that they are safe. Failure to properly secure the hitch, distracted driving, and improperly secured cargo can also lead to serious accidents.
- Cargo loaders. If a trailer is loaded beyond its maximum allowable weight, this excess cargo can stress components and cause the connection to fail.
- Manufacturers. Trailer hitch failures are sometimes caused by defects in the design or production of these components. The manufacturer may be held liable for producing a defective product in these cases.
- Trucking companies. Fleet companies are responsible for hiring, training, and supervising competent, skilled, and responsible drivers. If they fail to do so, they're liable under the theory of negligent entrustment.
- The state. Driving on an improperly-maintained surface can put tremendous stress on a trailer connection, causing it to fail. The state of Texas may be held liable when poorly-constructed or -maintained roads cause or contribute to an accident.
You Need an Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident caused by a trailer hitch failure, you need representation by an experienced vehicle accident attorney in order to receive the compensation you deserve. To learn more about what the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., can do for you, visit us on Facebook.